Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Best dressed

Oh Emma, 

How do you always get it right? I bow down to your style-ness. Can we be besties? I promise I'm super fun. 


[PS - Sorry I never seem to be able to think of interesting post titles. There's more important things in life.]

Monday, January 30, 2012

What I'm reading: January

This month, I read Freakonomics. This was on my "to-read" list for a long time, and I finally pulled it off the shelf. This book dives into the reasons behind what motivates people - and the answers might surprise you. Definitely not a typical "economics" book (in that I didn't fall asleep reading it). I love learning more about psychology, and I feel like this book really spoke to that. 

I also read Blink, which discusses how we unconsciously make decisions. Through interesting examples, Gladwell explains how we make snap judgments, and how they can be helpful, particular in life-threatening situations where over thinking may cause you to make the wrong choice. Again, psychology nerd, so I liked it. 

Last but not least, I borrowed Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close from my cousin. It's not your typical book - it contains pictures, sometimes there is only one phrase per page, and at one point all the words blend together and become illegible. Those make the book interesting to read, but the plot keeps you coming back. It's about a young boy whose father dies in 9/11. He finds a key in his father's closet and goes on a long journey to find what it opens. Throughout his journey, you'll learn more about his family and their history, from his grandparents' perspective. Some of the passages in this book were so beautiful, I read and re-read them. When I read about what the key belonged to, my first reaction was a little disappointment - but as my cousin said, the journey is more important, and the ending nicely blended his story with someone else's. A definite recommend. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Working on my fitness

I've been finding myself in a gym rut lately. I know I should be training for that 5k (in March) but I just ain't feeling it. So I thought I'd tell you a little bit more about my gym-ventures. 

My whole life, I was never the athletic kid. I read books, and drew pictures, and put on spice girl skits...but sports? Not so much. I did the bare minimum in PE class and that was it. When I got to college, people around me were so...active. The gym was always full, people played sports for fun. It was so not me. I walked to class, but that was about it. Once I moved off campus (and started driving to class), all that pizza and beer pong caught up with me. I graduated with the freshman 15 (plus a little extra) - I was no longer comfortable in my own skin. My parents could see I was unhappy, and offered to pay for a gym membership. I initially refused - the closest I came to breaking a sweat was going to get the mail. And that was the problem. Something had to change. I agreed to go. Luckily, I had a friend who belonged to that same gym. She helped make me feel more comfortable going to the gym - I was intimidated! And knowing I had a date set up with someone held me accountable. Soon, I started seeing results and going became a habit. It's been 2 1/2 years since I first started going to the gym, and I can't imagine quitting. I feel so much happier, calmer and self-confident. If I skip exercising for a few days, I can really feel the difference, mentally and physically. Now I'm no expert, but here are a few things that have helped me get healthy and stick with it:

1. Create a gym schedule. I used to just wing it and go whenever I felt like it. Turns out, I feel like sitting down more often that I feel like going to the gym. Now I have a schedule, and I stick to it. It's so much easier this way.
2. Pack my lunch the night before. I used to always pack my lunch in the morning, and I barely had enough time to throw together a sandwich before I ran out the door. Now, I pack the night before and make much healthier choices. I usually pack a salad, fruit, yogurt, veggies, and a treat. I still seem to be racing against the clock every morning though...
3. Don't weigh myself. I know that people have differing opinions on this - some people say that regular weigh-ins help keep them on track. For me, hopping on the scale would keep me too focused on that number, rather than how I feel. 

So even though I get in a rut every now and then, I'm still on a pretty good path and I'm proud of myself :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


I love this print. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pumpkin scones

This past weekend, my cousin decided to throw a "breakfast foods" dinner party. Um, yes please. I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to contribute, so I combed through my ever-growing list of recipes to try. I came across these pumpkin scones. And I drooled on my computer a bit. So I made these. A bit messy to make (they were hard to mix with a spatula, so I had to mix by hand). But they were oh so good. I'm simultaneously sad/glad that I didn't keep many of these in the house for me to snack on. (PS - trying to get better at taking pictures of the food I make - so here goes!)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

New recipes

In keeping with my new year's resolutions, I've been trying out some new recipes. A couple of weeks ago, I made orzo with roasted vegetables. Instead of using the vegetables suggested, I used what we had on hand (bell peppers, grape tomatoes, and zucchini). I also skipped the pine nuts and scallions. But it still turned out great - really flavorful and healthy. 

Then tonight, I tried out a chicken stir fry. I saw this last night when I was watching Paula Deen at the gym, and while I was a little skeptical of trying out an asian dish from a southern lady, I decided to go for it. Again, I changed it based on what veggies we had (bell peppers and snow peas). It was so good. It tasted like takeout - only better! We all gave this a thumbs up. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012


I make new year's resolutions every year, with varying degrees of success. The ones that I have this year are pretty specific, which I think is key to making and maintaining change. My top 5:

1. Run a 5k. Last year, my cousin and I walked the Revlon Run Walk and loved it. I'd love to try running a 5k this year. 
2. Go digital. I've always been partial to my day planner, but this year I'd like to try and make the leap to digital. I'd like to hopefully organize my calendar, lists and notes in my phone and computer. I just downloaded iCloud to help me do this. 
3. Try out one new recipe a month. I'd love to improve my cooking skills. 
4. Cut down my trips to Target. Even though I love it, I gotta be honest and say that Target is a major time suck and money drain. So many impulse buys!
5. Try to pay in cash. I find it much easier to shop when I'm paying with a credit card. Hopefully paying in cash will make me think twice about my purchases.

Here's to a great year!

Also, 3 things that were interesting on the internet this week:
1. This article, entitled What Is It About 20-Somethings? An interesting look at how this generation is taking longer to grow up and the efforts to define this process. A lengthy article, but worth it.
2. Engagement photos inspired by Disney movies. I'm a Disney nerd, so I found these really cute. (although not sure if I'd go for an Alice in Wonderland theme...)
3. A hiking trail that is underwater during the summer, but uncovered during the winter. 

Monday, January 9, 2012


Ok, I'm just now getting back in the swing of things. I promise I didn't go AWOL. I've been working on my resolutions (more on those later), watching 30 rock obsessively, and trying not to curse this hot windy weather we've been having. In between all that, I did go to Chocolatine. My cousin and I took my mom there for her birthday last weekend. It's a very cute, very small French cafe with absolutely drool-worthy desserts. We'd had a delicious lunch and pretended we were in France (it was more like how I envisioned France in my head - not how it was in real life) 

I wish I had known about it earlier - it would have been perfect for my cousin's bridal shower! Oh well. We'll just have to go back and pretend. :)